Driver in crash that killed five to face court

Five high school students were killed when a ute crashed into two trees southwest of Sydney.

Five high school students were killed when a ute crashed into two trees southwest of Sydney. Photo: AAP

The teenage driver in a crash that killed five high school students will face court next month when he is formally presented with multiple charges.

Tyrell Edwards, 18, was driving a Nissan Navara ute when it crashed into two trees southwest of Sydney near Buxton in September last year, killing five Picton High School students aged 14 to 16.

The six teenagers were crammed into the four-seater vehicle when Edwards allegedly lost control.

Lily Van De Putte and Gabby McLennan, both 14, Summer Williams and Tyrese Bechard, both 15, and Antonio Desisto, 16, all died in the crash.

Edwards suffered minor injuries.

He has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and five of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death with speed more than 45km/h over the limit.

No pleas have been entered.

On Friday, Magistrate David Degnan granted lawyers an extension to formally file charges against Edwards, citing the “complex and sensitive” nature of the case.

Some of the victims’ family members appeared at Picton Court House, one of them with a new tattoo along the side of his head that paid tribute to Antonio Desisto.

Edwards was excused from appearing in court on Friday but will have to be there when the charge certificate that lists the offences is filed in three weeks.

He spent a month in custody before being granted bail in October with his lawyer previously arguing he was significantly traumatised by the crash.

In the past, he had suffered from anxiety and sought psychological treatment for the illness.

The teenager has no criminal history, but has accumulated two speeding offences and had his provisional licence suspended in 2022 before the crash.

In the moments before the crash, police allege Edwards drove at high speed, lost control, crossed onto the wrong side of the road and travelled along a grassy road shoulder for about 40 metres.

Investigations suggest the ute rotated clockwise for about 50 metres, hit a tree and then rotated in a counterclockwise direction before crashing into a second tree.

Edwards will appear at Picton Local Court on May 5.


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